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Access to Learning Fund Campaign Update

July 13th, 2020

Bright Minds Foundation, the educational foundation of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), and HCPSS have used initial funds from the foundation’s Access to Learning Fund for critical student tools, supplies and resources that support learning during the extended coronavirus school closure.

“Bright Minds has been working tirelessly with HCPSS to identify and provide students with the key resources and supports needed to learn from home. The Access to Learning Fund allows school system staff to be creative, flexible and responsive to students’ varied learning needs during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Bright Minds Foundation Executive Director Liz Crammond.

The Access to Learning Fund has enabled the purchase of Everyday Speech software licenses for use by speech-language pathologists to address social-emotional learning for 300 students across the school system. More than 6,000 school supply packets were distributed for students at all 14 Grab-n-Go meals sites. Cedar Lane School students received adaptive communication devices to better express themselves, communicate with staff and improve language skills. Additionally, funding supplied 54 Hanover Hills Elementary School students with at-home learning materials, including math packs, read-at-home book sets specific to the student’s reading level and a Family Guide to Literacy.

“The Access to Learning Fund afforded us with critical materials and equipment to support HCPSS students with cognitive, communication, physical, medical and other needs during this learning period,” said Executive Director of HCPSS Special Education Terri Savage. “We’re so grateful to the Bright Minds Foundation and donors for these gifts. Without their generosity, our educators and providers would continue to find themselves even more challenged with securing essential resources.”

The Access to Learning Fund will continue to support the purchase and use of learning resources, including internet connectivity, subscriptions and memberships for learning tools, printed materials, mailing costs and multimedia equipment.

To date, 250 community donors have contributed more than $55,000 to the fund including $15,000 in matching donations from The Kahlert Foundation. The goal for the Access to Learning Fund is $75,000 to support HCPSS students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Contributions to the Access to Learning Fund may be made in the following ways:

Bright Minds Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the educational foundation of the Howard County Public School System. Bright Minds enhances the educational opportunities of all Howard County public school students by bringing together private and community support for academic initiatives and opportunities. We help level the playing field so all students have a chance to succeed.

More information about the school system’s planning for the 2020-2021 school year is available online.